In 2015 Adidas partnered with Parley for the Oceans to turn marine pollution like plastic bottles into shoes and sportswear. Like its Ultraboost and Alphaboost shoes, the two companies have prevented over 2,800 tons of plastic from reaching the ocean. And in 2019 Adidas expects to make 11 million pairs of shoes with recycled marine waste.
But how are these shoes made? Plastic bottles that contain PET are broken down into plastic flakes then cut into small resin pellets. These pellets are melted to create a filament, which is spun into what Adidas calls Ocean Plastic, a replacement for virgin polyester. Each item in the Parley collection is made of at least 75% recycled plastic. Adidas is also developing a 100% recyclable shoe called Futurecraft Loop, which is expected to be available in 2021.